Barbunya Pilaki; Borlotti (Cranberry) Beans Cooked with Vegetables
Barbunya pilaki, borlotti (or cranberry) beans cooked in olive oil with tomatoes, onions and carrots, is a much loved Zeytinyagli, Vegetables cooked in olive oil, Turkish style. Pilaki is a style of Turkish mezze, where vegetables and beans are mainly cooked with onions, garlic, tomato in olive oil, with a little addition of sugar, to balance the flavors. This vegetarian and vegan dish is easy, delicious and packed with goodness. Serve as part of mezze spread or accompany grills.
Recipe type: Vegetables and beans Cooked in Olive oil, Pilaki
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 6
  • 350 gr/12 oz./2 cups dried borlotti beans (or cranberry beans), soaked in warm water overnight
  • 1 medium to large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, quartered and chopped in small cubes,
  • 400 gr/ 1 can of good quality canned chopped tomatoes
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp sugar
  • 45ml/3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 16 fl. oz./2 cups water
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Soak the dried borlotti (or cranberry) beans overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  2. Then drain the beans, rinse and transfer to a pot, filled with plenty of cold water.
  3. Bring the pot to the boil, partially cover the pot and simmer for about 30 – 35 minutes. Make sure the beans become tender, but not soft or mushy, they should still have a bite to them.
  4. Drain and rinse the cooked beans under cold water and set them aside.
  5. Heat the olive oil in the pot and stir in the onions, sauté for 2 – 3 minutes, until they start to soften.
  6. Add the carrots, combine well and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the canned tomatoes and sugar, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine well.
  8. Add the beans to the pot and give it a good mix. Then pour in the water, combine well.
  9. Bring the pot to the boil; then turn the heat to low, cover the pan partially.
  10. Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, until the beans are cooked (but not mushy). Check the seasoning and add a little more salt or ground black pepper if needed.
  11. Serve Barbunya Pilaki at room temperature or cold as part of a mezze spread or appetizer, garnished with chopped parsley and wedges of lemon by the side to squeeze over. If you choose to serve next to main courses, I suggest serving Barbunya Pilaki warm.
If you are using dried borlotti (or cranberry) beans, they need to be soaked and rehydrated in warm water for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Recipe by Ozlem's Turkish Table at